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C.W. Post Expert: Occupy Protests Seek Fundamental Change

Sociology chair Eric Lichten: movement’s goals are beyond political process, could transform
opinions about concentration of wealth and power

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Morgan Lyle,Assistant Director of Public Relations
C.W. Post Campus,
Long Island University
516-299-4177

Brookville, N.Y. – The Occupy protests in New York, Boston and cities across the country could lead to a fundamental re-thinking of the distribution of wealth and power in society, according to an expert in economic sociology at the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University.

Unlike the Tea Party movement, which sought to exert conservative influence over the GOP, the Occupy movement isn't geared toward participation in the two-party political process, said Eric Lichten, professor of sociology and chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at C.W. Post.

“The Tea Party was interested in directly and indirectly negating moderate interests in the Republican Party,” Lichten said. “This Occupy Wall Street movement is not now interested in inclusion in the Democratic Party. It has the potential to be a transformative social movement; it questions the foundation of economic concentrations of wealth and income, the influence of the same over the political system and public policies of ‘neoliberalism’ (reliance on free markets and the private sector), and follows on the heels of four decades of dismantling those institutions that protected the middle and working classes while this age of growing inequality and corporate power extended its grasp on all of society.”

Dr. Lichten's research interest include fiscal crises and public policy; hate, bias and prejudice in America (including hate crimes); inequality in America; social problems of American society; political sociology (politics and society) and public policy; war and peace issues (including military sociology).

Posted 10/14/2011

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